Why solar panels?

Solar panels have become increasingly popular among people looking to reduce their ‘carbon footprint’ by using a renewable source of electricity. The electricity produced by home-installed solar panels can be used to power any of the day-to-day appliances that you currently in use within your home. 

Powering your home with solar energy is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy solution and could see savings of up to £534 a year on your electricity bill by installing solar panels in conjunction with battery storage. 

Having solar panels on your roof allows you to become more independent from the National Grid, reduce your home’s impact on the environment and have greater control over how and when your energy is used. 

Frequently asked Questions

Is it sunny enough to have solar panels in the UK?

Despite the UK’s reputation we actually get more than enough solar energy to make solar panels for your home a good investment, even on cloudy days.

In fact, the UK receives a similar amount of solar energy as some of the warmer European countries, and the same as Germany, one of the world leading generators of solar power.

How much energy can I generate from solar panels?

A 12-panel solar system could generate enough energy in a year to power a Tesla EV for 17,660 miles of emission-free driving or enable an A++ dishwasher to complete 4,465 loads in that time. 

Do I need to get planning permission for solar panels?

Adding solar panels to your home is classed as a “Permitted Development” and therefore, standard solar panel installations do not require planning permission. 

Planning permission should be obtained if your home is a listed building, world heritage site or the installation does not meet standard guidelines. 

Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

Whether your roof faces south, east or west your home is perfect to have solar panels fitted. North facing roofs will not receive as much sunlight and therefore won’t be as efficient. 

The pitch of your roof should be between 10o – 60o.

More reason to make the move to Solar

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  1. The Right Choice
  2. The Benefits of Solar Thermal Water Heating

Choosing the Right Solar Thermal Collector for your property

There are two types of thermal collectors used for solar water heating systems. These are: Evacuated Tube Collectors and Flat Plate Collectors

Evacuated Tube Collectors combine individual tubes set inside panels, with heat-absorbing antifreeze solution circulating through them.

Flat Plate Collectors are most easily described as plates of heat-absorbent material that are mounted in any location that gets a lot of sun. The flat plate collector absorbs the sun’s heat then transfers it to fluid flowing through the system.

For extra efficiency, Evacuated Tube Collectors usually have highly reflective, weather-proof CPC (Compound Parabolic Concentrator) reflectors on each tube. The clever design of the reflector means that both direct and diffused sunlight falls onto the absorber. This considerably improves the energy yield markedly.

Is Solar Thermal Right for My Home?

There are one or two myths concerning solar energy that we often redress at Broad Oak, such as the belief that solar panels and solar thermal systems only work during the summer, yet, this fantastic, free energy is available all year round. The other fallacy is that these systems can work only in when there is bright sunshine and thus solar thermal energy technology is not really unsuited suitable to our climate here in the UK. However, the solar thermal systems that we recommend at Broad Oak are highly-functional in any kind of light conditions (otherwise we would not recommend them). It stands to reason that they will achieve the best results on bright, cloudless and sunny days, but we can assure you that they will also perform almost as well in overcast or diffuse conditions.

Every solar thermal system we install uses one of the aforementioned heat collectors mounted on the in a south-facing direction to allow optimal levels of heat-transfer. During the summer months, the technology has the capability to heat the water to boiling point and so temperature-limiting safety features are incorporated to stop this. The system naturally heats to a lesser degree during winter, but the output from solar thermal systems can still be considerable, meaning significant, year-round savings, not just with your summer bills. A good way to look at it is that it takes the same amount of energy to raise water temperature from 1ºC to 2 ºC as from 99 ºC to 100 ºC. 1º is 1º, after all!


  • Property Value: A government (and society) approved, energy-saving feature can add value as well as market appeal to your home.
  • Reduce your Carbon Output: A green, renewable heating system such as solar thermal and can reduce your CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and is a solid commitment to helping the environment.
  • Year-round Hot Water: probably need to use solar thermal alongside a conventional boiler or immersion heater during the cooler months, the system works 12 months a year.
  • Reduce Bills & Future-Proof Your Energy Costs: with this system, you’re so much at the mercy of energy prices. Heat from the sun is free, and after you’ve recouped the installation costs, you’ll benefit from vastly reduced bills. Take control of your energy future!
  • Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels: solar thermal systems can fulfil up to 70% of your home’s hot water requirements over a year.
  • Get Paid: From the RHI governments rates for Solar thermal through RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) Scheme are 19.2p/ kWh and this is usually tax-exempt for domestic owner-occupiers.
  • Invest in Reliable Technology: With warranties covering between 10-25 years, the average lifespan of the low-maintenance solar thermal systems Broad Oak recommends is 25 years.
  • Cut Your Bills: Sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be significantly reduced thereafter.
  • Reduce Your Dependence on Fossil Fuels: A solar thermal system can provide up to 70% of a property's domestic hot water requirements throughout a full year, though it's more efficient in the summer months.
  • Future-Proof Your Energy Costs: Not only will you experience a reduction in your current bills but solar thermal can also minimise the impact of inevitable energy price rises over the coming years.
  • Improve Your Home: An approved, energy-saving feature can add value and market appeal to your property.
  • Be Assured of Performance & Reliability: Average system lifespan of over 25 years with minimum maintenance required; warranty between 10-25 years.
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